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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda
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Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  532 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Whether chugging up the Congo on a paddle-wheel steamboat, rubbing elbows with pygmy chiefs (or wealthy colonial neighbors), being pursued through the dark by a stalking leopard, or visiting friend Dian Fossey and her mountain gorillas at Karioske, Carr found herself living a life of cinematic proportions. In the process, she witnessed a half century of the politics of a d ...more
MP3 Book, Unabridged, 0 pages
Published October 16th 2008 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1999)
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If you've seen Gorillas in the Mist or read Dian Fossy's book by the same name you will recognize Rosamond Carr as the caring woman who befriended Dian when others would only criticize. Rosamond Carr's story of the four decades spent in Rwanda is captivating, frightening, beautiful, and thoroughly amazing. She went to Africa with her much older husband in 1949 and fell in love with the beauty and people of Rwanda. After their divorce, she could not tear herself away from the country and remained ...more
Through this well written memoir you get to learn a lot about Africa, specially about Rwandas history. Rosamund's life story is very interesting, the choices she made, the oportunities life offered to her and that she took. It's great to see all the good deeds she made and the things she achieved inspite of all the caos Rwanda has gone through in the last decades. She takes care of lots of orphan kids and shelters them at her property. She does her best to help these kids become the best they c ...more
Somehow the author managed to make her life sound less interesting than she really was. The style felt amateurish; I was surprised to check and find it was published by a regular publishing house, because the writing seemed similar to what you find in self-published/small press publishers. (No offense to small presses, but they put out those niche books that appeal to specific interests and don't need to work for mainstream. They're not amateurish, but the editing is different, or so it seems to ...more
Sarah-rose Gillespie
The author has lead an interesting life, especially for a single woman living mostly alone in Rwanda. I enjoyed her inside info and opinions on her friend Diane Fossey and her dedicated work with saving the mountain gorillas; I hadn't expected that at all. Overall I think it was a a good read but not a life changing one or one that I will remember for a long time to come like some other books I have read. It provides in a non-dry manner a clear view of politics and everyday life in Rwanda (then ...more
This was a surface-level account of the events in Rwanda of the past sixty years and how they affected individual citizens, moreso than trying to serve as an impartial global document of the situations (even if the individuals for the most part were not indigenous). It was very interesting to have the author continue to refer to the pre-genocide Tutsi as 'cockroaches' and offer only a seemingly grudging appreciation toward the Tutsi who eventually ended it. I found the stories were enhanced by c ...more
This is a very informative memoir of an American woman who married a British man who was an African explorer. They moved to central Africa in 1949 at the time it was colonized by the Belgians. She fell in love with the country and people of Rwanda and made it her home, leading a fascinating life that took her through a history of decolonization, peace time, political strife, war and revolution, and genocide in Rwanda. The writing is very good, although not poetic. She really cuts to the chase in ...more
I leave for Rwanda in less than two weeks. I have read a number of books on the country. Most of them are about its recent tragic history. Important to read, there is no doubt, but I wanted to go to the country with an open, positive approach. I had to put a rest to those other books as my mood was turning dark. I did find though that I was still picking up books on this country when I was at the library, needing to know more about Rwanda.

I am very pleased to have found this book. It is a story
Ted Olinger
What a beautiful book and all the more for doing what great stories do, in my view, which is to show how we do not know ourselves by accident, even if it is only through one accident of fate after another that we come to know ourselves at all. This is a stark and moving memoir of a young woman out of her depth in life and in love, a newlywed who emigrates from the U.S. to Rwanda in 1952 to find herself soon alone and learning to run a colonial era plantation on her wits and fortitude. Her story ...more
An autobiography of another one of these amazing courageous, strong women. This time an American, born early in the 20th century, and the life she makes for herself in the Congo and Rwuanda, with and despite her husband (who is despicable). The great thing about this book is that it shows how she changed along with the century, although she was never as bad as many of the other white farmers who set up life in Africa. Clearly a few strong African men enabled her to do what she did. This book als ...more
Lit Bug
This is a thought-provoking memoir of the author's life in Rwanda, leaving behind her prosperous and promising life in the First world. Married to a renowned hunter Kenneth, she followed him to Belgium-ruled Africa where their marriage disintegrated and resulted in divorce, but her affectionate relationship with him remained stable till his death nevertheless. Her separation from him, however, granted her a new life - an adventurous life as a plantation manager-turned owner, her remarkable frien ...more
Although the storyline is occasionally choppy--jumping back and forth in time in ways that are a bit confusing--Carr is able to make you see her home in Rwanda as the most beautiful place on earth and the most terrifying. Having never traveled anywhere in her life, she leaves New York with her husband in the 1940s and sails for Africa, not realizing that it will become her home for the rest of her life.

Her extreme love of both the Congo and Rwanda remain steady throughout the turbulent end of t
I love the idea of this story, a true one of an American woman who follows the man she loves to Rwanda and lives an adventure about which I have dreamed. But in reality her writing style really bugged me, not to mention the fact that she repeated herself and treated the reader as incompetent at following the storyline on his/her own. It is Out of Africa-esque, but in my opinion a far cry from the depth of Karin Blixen's story.

In Belgium and France I met many Rwandais all of whom had loved ones
Marcia Call
So this is the white settler book on Rwanda ... and what a beautiful piece it is. Of course, it was a different place in time, i.e. colonial times. However, Rosamond has a wonderful appreciation for the people who worked for her and with whom she worked. She also ended up turning over her plantation to a Rwandan national, which was unheard of in the day. Her candid views of colonial times, the independence of both Congo and Rwanda, the life and times of Dian Fossey, as well as her first-hand acc ...more
Philip Monroe
While this book comes through the eyes of white privilege, Carr describes this lush area in such a beautiful manner and she doesn't shy away from the problems she does see. I found this book captivating because the region of the Congo has sadly devolved since the late 40s. Roads were better in Goma in the 60s than they were. in 2011. Plus, I share Ms. Carr's love for Rwanda.
Rosamond Carr's story truly deserved a memoir, tracing her years as an American in Rwanda from 1949 to 1999, from caring for a farm to caring for orphans. The writing style is almost conversational, more storytelling than written composition. I found it highly readable. Happily, it is still in print and available in a kindle edition.
I might be going to Rwanda in June so this is the first book I picked up about the subject. An inspiring story about a womans life in Rwanda. Amazing how Carr refused to leave at the most dangerous times and wasnt afraid to forge out a life on her own during a time when being an independant woman in another country couldn't have been easy. She always overcame each obstacle she faced and manages to return to Rwanda against all odds as it becomes her home and she could not be happy anywhere else. ...more
This was an incredible book about an amazing woman! She moved to the Belgium Congo as a young bride and spent her entire life in Africa, mostly Rwanda. She experienced divorce, colonialism, Rwandan indepence, an interesting friendship with Dian Fossey, the Rwandan genocide, and so much more. At the time of writing (1999) she was in her 80's, running an orphanage for children who had lost their parents in the genocide. She said her only regret had been that she never had children, but at age 82 G ...more
Kathy B.
Historical and personal account told by the only woman who still owns a plantation in Africa. Evenly paced, sparsely yet beautifully written, captivating story. Recommend.
David Parker
Great personal testament about how someone that is repatriated to another country, claims it as their motherland and worth taking a stand against evil.
This book was slow to get into at first but it ended up being a suspenseful page turner. Only the end of the book deals with the 1994 genocide, which is fine because it's more about the whole fascinating life of this woman in Rwanda. The big criticism I have is that the majority of the book is not chronological - for example, you've just read of Dian's death in 1985 and in the next chapter she's talking about something that happened in the 1960s. I think it takes away from the flow of the book. ...more
Gets a bit long in places but overall a beautiful story about an amazing woman and a very good read.
Maria Hayashida
Rosamond Carr's account of her life in Rwanda reads as a classic adventure tale before authors had to use blood, guts, and tears to sell their stories. She writes as a true product of the times and tells of her experiences during Rwanda's war for independence in 1962, the devastating genocide of 1994, and her relationships with famous explorers and wildlife biologists. She speaks directly, yet modestly, which is quite charming. The details she provides about everyday life on a flower plantation ...more
This book re-ignites my love of this beautiful but bittersweet continent. Reminiscent of 'Out of Africa,' this celebration of a woman's 'life well lived' is empowering and enrapturing. I would be remiss, however, in failing to point out the paternalism imbued in the description of colonel Africa. I would hope that this is a reflection of the times in which she lived.

This book also helped me to understand what lead to the atrocious genocide that Rwanda endured in the 1990s. Why the international
I liked it enough to continue reading but when I put it down there was nothing really compelling to make me pick it up again. Rose followed her husband to Rwanda in the 1950's on a safari and fell in love with the country and people. After her breakup with Kenneth she stayed on to manage pyrethrum plantations and even with the genocide she stayed and opened an orphanage. I think it was probably an interesting life but people with interesting lives don't necessarily have the writing skills to con ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read about this book somewhere and recommended it for my book group. It is a very interesting story of/by a woman who went from New York City to Rwanda in 1949 and stayed. It's a personal view of the history of that area at that time, as well as a fascinating memoir. We had a good book group discussion about a woman we had never heard of, but who left her mark on that country, and is well worth learning about. She provided a home for scores of orphaned children, and although she has now passed ...more
I really like books about adventurous women who go to africa or already live there (see west with the night, malangheni, etc) and embark on an exciting life there. Roz Carr moved from new york/new jersey to Rwanda in the 1940's and moved around a bit, owning and managing different plantations and finally an orphanage for children displaced by the genocide of the 1990s. very inspiring and paints a beautiful picture of a country about which I previously only knew pretty horrific things.
For some reason the version that was on here said it was the audio version of the book but that is not the one I used.... I read the book version.... At any rate, I love, love, loved this book. I have some knowledge of the Africa and the Lakes region of East Africa for that matter, so I personally found the book to very interesting. Ms. Carr was so strong and lived such an adventurous life in Rwanda that I had a hard time putting the book down. I strongly recommend this book to anyone.
(I was so sure I'd already written a review of this book...)

Anyways - I loved it! The author moves to Rwanda in the 1940s and stays. Through it all. She gives a really good picture of colonialism, independence, other conflicts, and just every day life. I'd been having trouble understanding the big picture of Rwanda's history and she does a beautiful job of making it understandable, giving people faces and personalities, and really bringing the reader into her world.
Fabulous look through Roz Carr's eyes at Rwanda's history and shifting culture, especially the 1950s, Belgian rule, Tutsi feudalism, and the horrid events of the 90's that led her to found an orphanage in her 80s. Inspiring and thought provoking.
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